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Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Love Food hate waste

Last week at an event on Nottingham’s Market Square I picked up some information about the amount of food we all are capable of wasting here in the UK and was disturbed to see that the amount was one third of what we buy. An average household throws away £420 worth of food a year:

This website has got some great tips and recipes to help reduce food waste.

I did an experiment yesterday to see how much food I actually had in my home and how long it would last me. I got an exercise book and wrote everything down as a big list. With a few fresh vegetables and fruit additions I found I had got enough food to feed me at home (I’m single) for more than a month. I am going to make a real effort not to go to the rather convenient supermarket and other village shops until the majority of my food is eaten. I am generally too much in the habit of nipping out for something else from the Co-op supermarket when there is actually food in my cupboards or fridge/freezer just because I fancy something particular. Here’s to me cutting down my own food waste and saving some cash.

Actually, on a lighter note, one thing I don’t do as a divorced man that we used to do when I was married is build up a vast collection of tubes of tomato purée. We seemed to do that every shopping trip we did! We never seemed to remember that there were several in the cupboard already!


Elizabeth Bradley said...

What a great subject. It's so true. People get inspired when in the produce section, and they overbuy quantities of fruit and veggies. Then they forget about them, abandoning nature's bounty to decompose in the refrigerator crisper. I am a big proponent of making several trips to the grocery store instead of one where food stuffs are bought without really considering what is fresh and best.

Gail's Man said...

Fortunately I do most of the shopping and cooking so I try and keep food waste to a minimum. Apples seem to be a bit of a problem, as Gail takes them to work, but very rarely eats them! I don't really like raw apples, so they tend to go too soft to use. Maybe I should try making a crumble with them.

StGeorgeOfEngland said...

As a fellow single man I manage my food carefully, more dictated by the pennies than anything else.
I have no freezer as it would just get full of stuff sitting there for months. The cupboard houses around a dozen tins of tuna, various soups and tinned peas and sweetcorn. I have 3 varieties of rice and differing shapes of pasta. My fridge is small and is half full of fruit juice along with milk, spread anf cheese. Anything else I require is bought fresh. If I run out of bread or milk then my handy 7 til 9 shop across the road is my port of call.

I abhor food waste. BOGOF's are a major cause of food waste. I spent 15 years in retail grocery and was always amazed at the amount of stuff regular customers would buy on a weekly basis. Getting shoppers to 'impulse buy' is so easy. Once we bought a whole pallet of slightly damaged tins of tomatoes. We stacked a few case fulls on a shelf and sold at 12p a tin (it was a while back), hardly any sold after a month. Next tactic; stack the whole flippin lot just as people walk in the door. Stick a bloody great sign on saying 'special offer, last few only. 15p a tin'. We sold the lot in three weeks.

I read a while ago about a group of people that go around bins at homes or shops digging out dumped food. One couple were a young family of 5 and reckoned that their entire shopping bill for the week was less than £20. All they bought fresh was milk, bread and meat. The rest was salvaged.

We are all guilty of waste which seems a shame when they reckon that half the world starves. With apathy ruling the country I don't ever see things changing.

feasting-on-pixels (terrie) said...

Great post, cher Phil.

I started doing this after I needed to be gluten-free last month. After I took stock of what I had that I could eat on a GF diet, and I was amazed at what I still had on hand to feed myself for a great while. I found that all I needed weekly was addition of a bit of fresh milk, fruits and veggies to round out what was on hand.

I have been reading that many people in the USA have been doing the "eating form the Pantry and freezer" for awhile especially during this awful recession period. Some here "dumpster dive" also and often daily eat at markets that offer free food samples to stretch their food dollars. There are many dozens of blogs about this that are quite interesting.

I have to admit that once a month I "eat lunch"
as I shop for my organic produce and grass-fed milk at my local Whole Food Market. On Saturdays they have zillions of delicious gluten-free food samples booths(fruits, veggies, cheeses and olives from all over the world, fish, meats, wines, sweets and snacks)...By the time you shop and sample all the offerings, you have had quite an interesting

But I think what you said is so important...just to not waste what food we buy in the first place.

Emily said...

Good post! I think I need to do the same. Purely to get through all the tubes of tomato puree I have in the store cupboard. I don't ever really throw away food but I seem to build up huge stocks of it and rather than use what I have buy more! Good luck with the experiment!

Anonymous said...

I can thoroughly recommend a "left over" fry up every few days.

Gently fry chopped onion and garlic, (maybe with some bacon) and the throw everything left over in the fridge in with waste.

Great for a quick lunch,


Anonymous said...

We've made the habit of using up all of our foods. Worst case, if there's anything left over it goes to 1)the dog, and 2) the ducks.
Thanks for the post.

Ricardo said...

Definitely with you on that one, love food hate waste, so much so that I made the Left Over Stew on my Blog...not sure if you saw it ... but is just another way of getting less waste. Very good post indeed. cheers !!

Phil Lowe said...

Great to see all your supportive comments folks. Seems that more and more people are realising how much we waste with food and drink. Since posting this post I have added the Love Food -hate waste button on my side panel and have made inroads myself in my own cooking and cutting down of waste. And saving some cash of course.

French Fancy said...

Since living in France and doing a proper lunch from scratch each day I'm very very careful to use up everything we have and not go shopping needlessly. When we both worked and had the typical busy treadmill UK lifestyle I was regularly chucking out stuff that I just hadn't got round to eating.

This French slower way of life is quite therapeutic really. You are such a Francophile, Phil, that I'm surprised you have not decided to settle over here